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Rock Reacts To The Premier League

You Me At Six, As It Is, Bowling For Soup, Cancer Bats, Mallory Knox, Bury Tomorrow, ROAM and loads more give their hopes and predictions for the new season…

Football has barely been off minds this summer, with England’s impressive showing at the World Cup galvanising a nation to believe that, one day soon, football just might come home. But with Russia a distant memory, attentions now turn to the domestic campaign, with the Premier League kicking-off this weekend. With that in mind, we asked the rock world to give us their hopes and predictions for the upcoming season.

Read on to find out which Premier League star is mates with Mallory Knox, and why Bowling For Soup’s Jaret Reddick is tipping Stoke to score a bunch of bicycle kicks over the coming months…


YOU ME AT SIX

Why do you support Arsenal, Josh?

Josh Franceschi (vocals):My dad took me to a game when I was 6 months old in a baby rucksack-type thing, so I had no real choice.”

What are your hopes for them for the upcoming season?

Just to see a change, like the new manager and ideally top four with a Europa League victory.”

Who’s your favourite player?

Currently I’d go with Ramsey. But I’m a big fan of Lacazette too.”

Who do you think is going to win the Premier League?

Manchester City or Liverpool. It’s between them as far as I am concerned. Can’t see it going elsewhere.”

Which team will surprise people this season?

I think Fulham. They’ve bought really well and have brought proper quality. They are in no danger of going back down. Or West Ham who have equally strengthened well.”

Who’s the most metal footballer you can think of?

Gotta be my man Tomas Rosicky. Loves metal and loves the horns in the sky celebration.”


AS IT IS

Who do you support?

Patrick Foley (drums):Although my hometown is Norwich, I support Chelsea. We moved to London when I was young, so I needed a London team. At the time, Chelsea had some of my favourite players, and I’ve stuck with them ever since.”

What are your hopes for your team this season?

A new manager always fills me with as much fear as it does excitement. It’s unlikely we will have immediate success; I just hope our new manager, [Maurizio] Sarri, is given enough time. I’m expecting and hoping for at least a Champions League spot.”

Who’s your favourite player?

I’ve always enjoyed watching defensively-minded players who orchestrate attacks; for instance, players like Paul Scholes, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Andreas Iniesta. At the moment, I really enjoy watching N’Golo Kante play in the current Chelsea line-up.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

I hope it’s Chelsea, but realistically, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool can be extremely clinical when they turn up so I would be very wary of them. Arsenal have done a fair bit of business in the transfer window, so they could be a wildcard, too.”

Who will surprise us this season?

Arsenal are re-shuffling the squad and bringing in some good players. Teams with such drastic changes tend to either do really bad or really well, so I’d keep an eye on them.”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

It has to be my fellow drummer Petr Cech – that man can absolutely shred!”


BLOOD YOUTH

Who do you support?

Kaya Tarsus (vocals): “Manchester United! I’ve supported them from the moment I was born. I was a season ticket holder and spent most of my childhood at every game with my dad.”

What are your hopes for your team this season?

We used to be the best team in the land, but these days I’m happy with a top four finish. As much as it hurts to say, I don’t think anybody is overtaking Man City anytime soon.”

Who’s your favourite player?

I’m a big fan of Romelu Lukaku – he’s going to be a very important player for us this season.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

I’m hoping United can do something this season, but it’s probably going to be Man City. They have an unlimited budget and can sign any player they want. Their team is pretty much unstoppable at moment.”

Who will surprise us this season?

Fulham are the ones to watch! They’ve strengthened their team smartly and will cause a few upsets. [Jean Michaël] Seri is a huge signing!”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

David de Gea often talks about his love of metal and Slipknot, which seems to be very rare in football. Get yourself to a Blood Youth show, David!”


BOWLING FOR SOUP

Who do you support?

Jaret Reddick (vocals/guitar): “I’m a Manchester United guy. When we first started coming over to the UK, we all picked a team because, well, that’s what you do apparently! Manchester has blown me away from a crowd perspective so I picked Man United. I’ve stuck with them and they seldom let me down.”

What are your hopes for your team for the upcoming season?

I just hope we stay competitive, but it would be nice to be back on top of shit!”

Who’s your favourite player?

Wayne Rooney. I know, I know: he’s in America now and a lot of people don’t like him, and they call him Shrek and shit. But I love the guy, I can’t help it.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

I always assume Man City will win because they have the money. But you can never count United out, or Chelsea for that matter.”

Who will surprise us this season?

Stoke City will surprise everyone by setting the record for the number of bicycle kicks scored in a single season, one of which will somehow happen from a penalty, leaving us all to ponder, How the fuck did that just happen?!’”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

Marty Majewsky. You don’t know him, but he went to my high school and he fucking loved Iron Maiden!”


BURY TOMORROW

Who do you support?

Jason Cameron (vocals/guitar): “Portsmouth, my beloved hometown team.”

What are your hopes for your team third season?

Promotion to the Championship! With new investments and a promising season last year the vibe is great.”

Who’s your favourite player?

Jamie Vardy.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

Man City, because of Pep Guardiola.”

Who will surprise us this season?

I think Arsenal could surprise everybody and get a top four spot.”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

I hear David de Gea loves it!”


CANCER BATS

Who do you support?

Scott Middleton (guitar):Arsenal, because when I was 18 I was really getting into watching the France ‘98 World Cup, and they had some legendary Arsenal players in the France squad. Eventually, through other Gooner friends of mine in university, I was drawn into becoming an Arsenal supporter during the glory days of Wengerball and later the ‘Invincibles’ season. I was hooked by their intelligent play, full of class and passion.”

What are your hopes for your team this season?

It’s our first without Wenger as manager and I have high hopes for what new boss Unai Emery will bring to our club. We’ve had a good pre-season, and he seems to add a heavy focus on intense training, organised tactics and high pressing football, which I believe we were missing these last few years. We’ve added a few promising signings, and I hope the new boss will inspire our older players to play the best football they can.”

Who’s your favourite player?

I love Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s unrelenting eye for goal; he seems to genuinely enjoy the sport with an unflinching confidence. He banged in 10 goals for us after a midseason transfer to the Premier League, which is a huge achievement. He seems to position himself better than most Arsenal strikers have in years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got 25 goals this season!”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

I want it to be Arsenal, but with so many new signings and a new manager, it’s hard to say with honesty that will happen. I think Man City still have the advantage with their excellent squad and a proven winner as manager. The only thing that anyone knows for sure, is that it won’t be Tottenham!”

Who will surprise us this season?

My gut tells me Arsenal are going to be serious competitors again. Emery is going to bring a ferocity to our club that we haven’t seen in a really long time. Arsenal have signed two amazing midfielders in Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi. We’re all expecting Torreira to be great, but Guendouzi, who was scouted from [French] Ligue 2 side Lorient, has been a standout player in preseason.”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

Tomas Rosicky for sure – he would celebrate scoring his goals by throwing the horns up in the air!”


DECADE

Who do you support?

Connor Fathers (vocals): “Manchester United. I fit the essential criteria that all United fans must, which is that I live nowhere near Manchester and have no personal or family ties to the city. I grew up watching the class of ’92 and some of my earliest football memories are those incredible Champions League nights in the late-’90s. That had me hooked.”

What are your hopes for your team this season?

I would love to see Jose Mourinho win the league with United, but sadly I can’t see past Manchester City or Liverpool, which as a United fan is a really painful thing to say! A top four finish is a must, and real progress in Europe would be great.”

Who’s your favourite player?

Of all time, Paul Scholes. In the current United squad, Marcus Rashford.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

Sadly, I think Manchester City. Pep has built an incredible team and when you look at the depth he’s added over the summer, it’s unbelievable. They’re going to have a bench full of world class players, let alone the starting 11.”

Who will surprise us this season?

Aleksandar Mitrovic at newly promoted Fulham is going to quietly and consistently fire them in over the season. I think Fulham will finish surprisingly high in the table.”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

David de Gea is a metalhead. I remember an Instagram post of his a few years back from a Slipknot show, which was pretty fucking cool. I hope he’s not pushing his fingers into his eyes come the end of the season, though.”


FIZZY BLOOD

Who do you support?

Benji Inkley (vocals/guitar): “I’m a massive Liverpool supporter. At around eight years-old I just took note of who my favourite players were playing for – people like Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen – and it was Liverpool.”

What are your hopes for your team this season?

I do feel good about this season. From where we were this time last year to where we are now, you can see the progression, which is amazing. I just hope that Liverpool are able to keep up with Man City; I’d like to see the points gap closed a little more. Another solid European campaign would be sound as well.”

Who’s your favourite player?

It’s a toss-up between Roberto Firmino and Mohammed Salah, and although I bought Bobby’s number 9 shirt for this season, I’ll go with Mo Salah. When that man scores, and you see him smiling like a Springer Spaniel, it’s the most infectious sight ever. He makes charitable donations to impoverished areas back in [his home country] Egypt, and he’s one of the humblest people you’ll ever come across.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

It’s going to be Man City again. Although I’m confident that if we’re on our game, we can push them to the very end and then, who knows?”

Who will surprise us this season?

Wolves will stay up comfortably. They’ve strengthened with decent players and they look to have a style of play that suits them. Whether or not it’ll translate well in the Premier League we’ll have to wait and see, but I think they’ll stay up.”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

[Liverpool manager] Jürgen Klopp. The man literally has his teams play heavy metal football, he fist-pumps multiple times a game, loves him a stein and his favourite band is KISS.”


MALEVOLENCE

Who do you support?

Alex Taylor (vocals): “I support Sheffield United. However, Charlie, our drummer, supports Sheffield Wednesday, so there is definitely a bit of rivalry in the band when it comes to football!”

What are your hopes for your team this season?

That we finish higher than Wednesday. But after the start we’ve had, it’s not looking good!”

Who’s your favourite player?

Harry Maguire. He donated his signed England World Cup shirt to be auctioned off at Art For The Mind, a charity event that a good friend organised in aid of raising awareness of male suicide and prevention around addiction.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

Liverpool. They’ve got the best front three in the division and they’ve strengthened their weak areas.”

Who will surprise us this season?

Arsenal. They made good signings last year that have had time to bed in to the club.”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

Slaven Bilic. I’m pretty sure he’s in a rock band.”


MALLORY KNOX

Who do you support?

Sam Douglas (vocals/bass):Cambridge United. They’re my local team, and my family has a lot of history with the club. My granddad was on the Board of the Directors back in the 1980s, and his building firm at the time played a big part in constructing the stadium. My dad also used to write the match day programmes, so they’re very much my club.”

What are your hopes for your team for the upcoming season?

Like every year, it’s the play-offs. You’d say at least 16 of the teams in our league have a chance of making it, and we without doubt should be one of them.”

Who’s your favourite player?

Greg Taylor. He’s been there for a long time now, and the good thing about him is that he gets better every single season.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

Man City. They were too good last year, and even though Liverpool have improved considerably, I still think City will be too good to stop. The way Pep and Klopp like to play – constantly on the front foot – will make for an exciting season.”

Who will surprise us this season?

Fulham have done some incredible business considering their stature. Seri is an absolute coup and I can’t believe they got him. I back them to make the top half this season.”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

My mate Will Norris plays for Wolves and he’s a keen Mallory fan – he fanboyed like fuck when he came to watch us at The Junction a few years ago! He loves his rock music.”


MSRY

Who do you support?

Charlie Bishop (guitar): “Arsenal. My dad took me to a game when I was younger and since then I’ve never looked back!”

What are your hopes for your team this season?

Finish within the top four and I’d be over the moon.”

Who’s your favourite player?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

Manchester City. They won it last year, and since then have just made their squad even stronger.”

Who will surprise us this season?

Wolves. They’ve just been promoted to the Premier League and have spent a huge amount of money.”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

[Wycombe Wanderers striker] Adebayo Akinfenwa. His nickname is ‘The Beast’, and that alone is a reason to fear him. If there’s one person you wouldn’t want to meet in a mosh pit, it’s him.”


ROAM

Who do you support?

Alex Costello (vocals): “I support Arsenal for the dumbest reason! They had a player called Freddie Ljungberg who had dyed red hair that matched the football kit, and I thought that was the coolest thing! I should be supporting Derby as that’s where I was born and grew up, but they weren’t any good so that was no fun.”

What are your hopes for your team this season?

We have a new manager which is a big deal, as I’ve only known them throughout my life to have Wenger. So who knows? Emery could change a lot of things for the better.”

Who’s your favourite player?

Ricardo Quaresma. This guy hasn’t had the best career, but he’s scored some brilliant goals and was the creator of the Trivela [a way to shoot with the outside of the boot]. He scored one for Portugal in this World Cup just gone! He also wore number 77 at Inter Milan, which I thought was cool, and for that reason I was 77 for my local football team.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

I feel like Liverpool could do it this year. Reasons being Klopp, the new signings and the fact they have Salah.”

Who will surprise us this season?

Fulham. They’ve been busy this transfer window, bringing in Mitrovic and [Andre] Schürrle.”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

Rüstü Reçber – he was the only footballer to wear war paint. Google him!”


WILL HAVEN

Who do you support?

Grady Avenell (vocals): “Arsenal. The reason I support them is that [old Arsenal stadium] Highbury is on Avenell Road. It’s kind of a silly reason, but fuck it!”

What are your hopes for your team this season?

I just hope Arsenal do well under Unai Emery. I think Aubameyang is going to make a big impact this season; his movement off the ball is fantastic, and the timing of his runs is brilliant.”

Who’s your favourite player?

Mesut Özil. He should be pissed after an early exit from the World Cup. I expect him to be very aggressive this season. If he isn’t already, someone should give him some Will Haven to listen to – then he’ll be running over opponents!”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

I think Man City could win it again Pep has stoked a fire in them. City have top players in every position; Leroy Sane is going to shine, and Kevin De Bruyne always kills it.”

Who will surprise us this season?

Mohamed Salah, because he’s going to continue his roll from last season. I think he’ll make Liverpool a serious contender to win the league.”

Who’s the most player in the football world?

Jürgen Klopp. He manages with so much passion, and I could see him fucking it up as the pit boss!”


WITTERQUICK

Who do you support?

Will Alford (vocals): “Our local Exeter City boys of course! They’re fan-owned and do a lot for the local community, and they’re going to reign supreme this year!”

What are your hopes for your team this season?

To win the play-offs! We’ve got to make it through the final this time. It’d be our third attempt, and the third time’s the charm!”

Who’s your favourite player?

Jake Taylor.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

Man City – Pep Guardiola is working some real magic there.”

Who will surprise us this season?

Man United will surprise everyone by slipping into a mid-table crisis by November, with Mourinho quitting before Christmas.”

Who’s the most metal player in the football world?

Without a doubt most of the Icelandic squad – that’s a bunch of Viking heroes right there! You can guarantee [Cardiff City midfielder] Aron Gunnarsson and the other guys are all in brutal bands back home!”


We also spoke to Stephen Hawthorn-Emmett, a marketing consultant for Premier League side Burnley FC and drummer in rising UK punks Eat Defeat, to get his thoughts on the new season.

Who do you support?

I support Bradford City, my hometown club, but also Burnley as I’ve worked for them for four years.”

What are your hopes for your team(s) this season?

Bradford should be pushing for promotion, and after last season Burnley can achieve anything under Sean Dyche.”

Who’s your favourite player?

For Bradford, I still follow a lot of the history-making team that got to the League Cup Final in 2013. Burnley signed Nahki Wells last season who was a part of that Bradford side, so I’ve been keeping close tabs on his progression. James Tarkowski is probably my favourite Burnley player, though, and I think he’s going to have another great season.”

Who is going to win the Premier League?

I think Tottenham are going to give it a really good go, but you can’t deny the spending power of the Manchester teams. But, with Burnley, anything can happen!”

Who will surprise us this season?

Burnley are going to have another good season. It’s all been about progression at the club and we have proved to get stronger and stronger. We surprised everyone last season getting into Europe, so progression would say top six.”

Who’s the most metal footballer you can think of?

David de Gea! Apparently he listens to nothing but loud, fast music in his prep for games. I think he’d really dig the new Eat Defeat record!”


Words: Jake Richardson

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